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HOWTO: converting videos from .MTS format to avi or any other video format (Ubuntu Linux)

Having done another fotoshoot with additional video this time I noticed that the video format was .MTS – and too big for uploading quickly to my website.

As I’m a bit lazy to find all the ffmpeg settings to get it into a smaller format which can be used for multiple platforms without that much trouble, I browsed the intertubes and found WinFF.

“It’s a graphical video and audio batch converter using ffmpeg. It will convert almost any video file that FFmpeg will convert. WinFF does multiple files in multiple formats at one time. You can, for example, convert mpeg’s, flv’s, and mov’s into avi’s (or DVD/VCD format or MPEG or 3gp etc.) all at once”.

Well, installed the package on my Ubuntu 11.10 with a
sudo apt-get isntall winff
and started it with a
winff &
Ofcourse you can also find it under your applications/ Dash home and search for “WinFF”

* First add the *MTS videos you want to convert. You can use the [Add] button for that.
* Select the “Convert to” settings under “Output details”. I used ‘avi’
* Select the proper preset. This is quite a list, so I scribbled them down:

Audio:
* Ac 3DVD – 192kbps Stereo
* Ac 3DVD – 384kbps Stereo
* MP3
* OGG
* WAV for CD
* WMA

AVI:
* MS Compatible AVI
* XviD Fullscreen / Widescreen / Widescreen Anamorphic

Blackberry
* Blackberry Music

Bravia
* Sony Bravia mpeg1 640×480

Creative Zen
* Zen Fullscreen / Widescreen

DV:
* Raw DV for NTSC/PAL Fullscreen

DVD:
* NTSC DVD Fast (LQ) / Fullscreen / Widescreen / HQ Fullscreen / HQ Widescreen
* PAL DVD Fast (LQ) / Fullscreen / Widescreen / HQ Fullscreen / HQ Widescreen

Mobile Phones:
* MP3 (Mono)

Nokia:
* Nokia 810 mplayer 16:9 / 4:3 / Cinemascope 24:10

Rockbox:
* RB Apple iPod Nano Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB Apple iPod Nano Photo/Color Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB Apple iPod Nano Video Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB Cowon iAudio X5 Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB iRiver H10 20GB Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB iRiver H10 5/6GB Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB iRiver H300 Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB Sandisk Sansa e200 Fullscreen / Widescreen
* RB Toshiba Gigabeat F/X Fullscreen / Widescreen

Tuna-Vids:
* Tuna-vIDS

VCD:
* NTSC/PAL VCD (HQ)

Websites:
* Flash Video (flv) for Web Use Fullscreen / Widescreen

WMV
* PowerPoint / WMV2 Generic / WMV for Web Use / XBox 360 / Zune

Ofcourse you can set every little nitty gritty detail you want when you click ‘Options’ – an additional box will become visible.

For my videos I had to set the Video Size to 1280×720 in order to give them the right proportions. The conversion was set to AVI and XviD Widescreen.

Click “Convert” to do the actual work. You might see a screen popping up which asks for confirmation.

The files were a lot smaller than the originals and were at least so small (or let’s say big) that I don’t have problems playing them on my not-so-fast netbooks. Total filesize dropped between 50% and 80% – so the files are ready to be uploaded and shared.

I think I should learn ffmpeg by heart – or at least print it out on an analog paper and hang it above my bed. At least, if the spiders don’t eat it ;)

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